It’s amazing to observe that “US War Machines” like the WLA Harley-Davidson can be found intact, restored or turned into a chopper or racer in countries all around our world, including Japan. Very similar to the WL civilian model, the WLA (45″ or 740 cc engine and single-rider design) was produced to US Army specifications in the years during World War II (same engine powered the three-wheeled Servi-Car) 90,000 were produced during the war (along with spare parts, the equivalent of many more) and when the war ended they were sold as surplus and “civilianized”. Unusually, all the WLAs produced after Pearl Harbor (12/7/41), regardless of the actual year, would be given serial numbers indicating 1942 production. Thus, war-time machines would come to be known as 42 WLAs.
This 1942 WLA racer belongs to a certain Nishida from The Posh Factory, a shop both in Tokyo and Osaka specializing in custom bikes, Harley engine rebuilding and producing a wide range of custom parts (online catalog in English!.) He rebuilt this WLA to race 4 times a year in the AVCC (American Vintage motorcycle Competition Clubman road-race) in Japan and has had some great wins over the years. He states that racing this fine looking machine provides him with inspiration for creating new parts. Well, you can check on The Posh Factory Website.